If you are an expat living or working in Thailand then I’m sure you would agree with me that the “90 Day Reporting” is the most annoying and time wasting thing we have to do. For those who don’t know, everyone in Thailand has to report their address to Immigration EVERY 90 days. Yes, we have to take time off work to travel to our local Immigration office, to fill in a form and then line up and wait our turn to tell the officers that we are still at the same address. I’m lucky that my local office is nearby and hardly anyone there at the end of the day. But I know many people who live in Bangkok who say that it takes them at least half a day if not longer for them to submit the TM47 form.
At the moment, they are trying to roll out online reporting but this is facing many technical problems. Some people have managed to do this, but many said that they just kept getting errors. It’s also risky because if you make a mistake and you don’t submit the form properly, you might face a 2,000 Baht fine. At the moment, going in person is the most advisable thing to do. You can do this two weeks beforehand or up to 7 days after the deadline. What I did is download the PDF version of the form and then filled in my details leaving a blank for the date. I just then print this whenever I need it, add the date and sign it. Incidentally, if you lose the bottom half of the form in your passport, just go to your local police station to report it missing. This costs about 20 Baht. There is no fine at Immigration, but if they find out that you did this to hide that you were overdue, they will fine you 4,000 Baht.
I think a lot of us thought that they might eventually stop making us do 90 Day reporting. After all, it is a lot of work for them as well. But, it looks like it will go the opposite direction now and become more time consuming. This is because of transnational crime and foreign criminals living in Thailand. Many of these people give false information when they do 90 Day reporting. Obviously they don’t want the police to know their real address. So, partly because of this, you now might have to show proof of address the next time you do your 90 Day reporting. I’m also told that they will also soon start cracking down on houseowners who don’t report foreigners living on their premises.
In the past, all we had to do was fill in the TM47 90 Day reporting form. But now, at Samut Prakan Immigration office, we are being asked to photocopy the following five things in our passports as well. The superintendent at Samut Prakan tells me that other Immigration offices around the country will be asking for the same as well over the coming weeks and months if not already. Here is the list:
- Front page showing name / surname / Passport No., etc.
- Current visa
- Last entry stamp of immigration
- Last extension of visa
- Photocopy of departure card TM.6
In addition, you may be asked for proof of address. For example a photocopy of your house registration or your rental contract if you live in a condo. They don’t seem to be doing this for everyone yet. If they know you already, then they might not ask you for proof of address. Another way they double check your address is by cross-checking with the TM30 form. Never heard of that? Well, by law, hotels and landlords have to notify Immigration of any foreigners staying in their premises. This has to be done within 24 hours or there will be a fine. Of course, this is not your responsibility if you rent a condo or flat. But, if you are married to a Thai and own a house, then you are responsible to submit this form.